By Alonzo Garza
After an evenly-matched, back-and-forth first half, the Lions fell hard to the Hays Rebels’ at Shelton Stadium on Friday night, after the Rebels chalked up 34 points in the second half of play to end the game at 41-7.
“Our defense played outstanding in the first half,” Lion Head Football Coach Paul Kilby said after the game. “We are real proud of our defense. They were going down a little bit in the second half, but… offensively, we couldn’t get clicking. We got a couple of long drives and getting stopped on the five a couple of times was real tough. It kind of broke our spirit a little bit when we couldn’t score early there.”
First quarter action began with 2:40 left on the clock. A Hays fumble recovered by Lockhart at the 6-yard line ended with a punt after futile attempts to move the ball forward. Hays took the ball at the 34-yard line, only to lose it with a big interception by Senior Detrrick Reed at 1:06.
The Lions got the ball to the Rebel 17-yard line with a long pass. They followed the play with a penalty for delay-of-game before getting the ball to the 9-yard line for a first-and-goal. The Lions failed to push through the end zone ending the quarter at 0-0.
The second quarter began with the Lions unable to score with a first-and-10 at the top of the quarter. After Hays gained possession of the ball, the Lion defense forced the Rebels to punt on a fourth down. Unfortunately, senior Logan Zimmerhanzel fumbled the ball on the return for a Hays first-and-10 at the 40-yard line.
The Rebels called a timeout at 7:12 on a fourth-and-7 at the 37-yard line. A quarterback sack by Jordan Huckaby followed the timeout. The sack was good for a Lion first-and-10 at the 37.
Lockhart punted to Hays and Hays punted to Lockhart for the rest of the quarter after both teams battled for a score. The defensive teams on both sides did a tremendous job of keeping their opponents away for the goal line.
Hays scored the first touchdown of the night with 1:43 remaining in the half. A 55-yard drive in five plays put the Rebels on the board. After the extra point kick, no further scoring occurred ending the first half at 7-0.
The Lions received the kickoff at the top of the third quarter. They took the ball at their own 27-yard line. A false start penalty at 10:31 set the Lions on a third-and-22 followed by a fourth-and-19 at their 18-yard line. The Lions punted to Hays.
The Rebels took possession of the ball at the Lions’ 45-yard line and turned it into a second touchdown with three plays. The extra point kick was good for a score of 14-0 at 9:07.
The Lions took the ball at their own 25-yard line. Junior Brandon Miller moved the ball to the 43 for a first-and-10 followed by another first-and-10 at the Hays 38. Senior Joseph Bell carried the ball well into Rebel territory for a first-and-10 at the 14-yard line at 8:19. Bell rushed again for a fourth-and-7 at the 11, but could not go further.
Hays, on the other hand, moved the ball 89 yards in six plays for a third touchdown. The extra point attempt failed for a score of 20-0 at 3:30. No further scoring occurred in the quarter.
Hays exploded into action at the top of the fourth quarter. The Rebels scored their fourth touchdown at 11:55. The extra point plays that followed were full of flags. Lockhart was penalized for holding in the first, kick attempt then Hays was penalized for holding in the second, two-point conversion attempt. The Rebels decided to kick in their third attempt and scored for a 27-0 lead over the Lions. Hays scored again at 10:05. The extra point kick was good for a score of 34-0.
The Lions covered 75-yards in eight plays before scoring their first and only touchdown of the night. Lockhart scored with a 16-yard run by Levi Mair, who pushed his way through the end zone with no fewer than four Rebels on his back. The extra point kick was good for a score of 34-7 at 7:16.
Hays scored one last touchdown at 5:37. The extra point kick was good for a final game score of 41-7.
“I’m real proud of our kids,” Kilby said. “They keep battling. They keep getting after it. Great effort tonight… it was a great effort by our kids tonight. We’re real proud of them.”
The Lions (0-3) will host the New Braunfels Canyon Cougars (2-2) during a Pop Warner Night game at Lion Stadium on Friday, Oct. 21.
See you at the game.